This book interested me before I even knew that Dave Burgess is a fellow high school social studies teacher. Honestly, the pirate thing was the biggest draw for me. Who wouldn’t want to teach like a pirate? I wanted to be the teacher who would hold the students captive to my educational awesomeness and the idea of being a bit of a quirky peg-legged, eye-patched, friend of parrots was a definite incentive for me to read the book. Finding out that the author teaches difficult to motivate students US History was only icing on the cake!
So, I’ve decided to put my own spin on the pirate lifestyle for my classroom this year. I loved Dave’s idea of selling the class to the students. I made my class handouts resemble advertisements and even had endorsements from last year’s students. I decided to break away from my regular first few days of class where I went over the rules day one and dove into the curriculum on day 2. Like I said, I did my own spin on the pirate life so on day one for US History I did an activity called History in a Bag and for Psychology I did the Marshmallow Challenge.
I truly believe that using the PIRATE methods in addition to my own general zany character will really make my class an exciting place for my students where they feel motivated to learn. Coupling this with my move towards gradually flipping my classes and integrating more technology overall will make this even easier for me to accomplish. My goal is to have more class time to engage my students and really help them to connect with the content. So far I’m feeling extremely energized and very excited to teach my lessons. One student has already said to me “You can tell you really like your job”. What a great endorsement two days into the school year!